Meta is set to launch a new app called Threads, which will be a direct competitor to Elon Musk’s Twitter. The app, which can be pre-ordered on the Apple App Store, will be linked to Instagram and features a dashboard reminiscent of Twitter. Threads will be a standalone app linked to Instagram, allowing users to port over their accounts to the new platform.
However, there is a catch — Threads will collect data from users’ phones, including health data, financial information, location data, purchases, and browsing history, and port user data when they sign up using their Instagram credentials. According to Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC), the app will not roll out in Ireland or the EU for the foreseeable future.
Meta to Launch Twitter Rival App Soon
Threads is a text-based decentralized social media platform deeply intertwined with Instagram. While Threads will be a standalone application, Instagram users will not have to worry about creating new usernames or handles; they can log in to Threads with their existing Instagram credentials and maintain their handle and verification status.
One significant advantage of Threads is that users will not have to start from scratch when building their community. Instagram will assist users in bringing their followers over to Threads. It will notify their followers to follow them on the new platform, ensuring a seamless transition. Threads also allow users to carry over their preferences from Instagram.
In addition, the accounts blocked on Instagram will also be blocked on Threads, ensuring a safe and personalized experience. Moreover, Threads will allow users to post updates of up to 500 words, a significant increase compared to the character limit on platforms like Twitter.
Screenshots on the App Store provide a glimpse into the features of Threads. Users can find followers, follow the same accounts they follow on Instagram, and engage in conversations similar to Instagram threads, hence the name.
The ability to reply to, repost, and forward posts will be reminiscent of Twitter’s functionalities. Additionally, users can choose the audience to reply to their posts, allowing for more control over the discussions.
The App Store description says Threads is “Instagram’s text-based conversation app,” where users can “say more.” “Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow,” it said, adding:
“Whatever it is you’re interested in, you can follow and connect directly with your favourite creators and others who love the same things – or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions and creativity with the world.”
Meta’s App is a Threat to Twitter
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has long been engaged in a rivalry with fellow billionaire Musk. However, his Threads app may be the biggest threat to Twitter to date.
Meta has a history of emulating popular features from competing social media platforms and incorporating them into its own. The company’s Stories, a Snapchat clone, and Reels, a feature that popularly impersonated TikTok, are notable examples.
While Threads is not guaranteed success, as Twitter has survived multiple attempts to dethrone it, Zuckerberg has proven himself adept at navigating social media. If he can convert just 18% of Instagram users to Threads, the app will have as big a user base as Twitter.
Threads Faces Obstacles in the EU
The launch of Threads may face obstacles in the EU due to its data collection plans. The Irish regulator, the Data Protection Commission (DPC), has stated that the new service will not be rolled out in the EU.
That is because the platform is designed to import user data from Instagram, including behavioral and advertising information. Meta can combine data from Facebook and Instagram in the US, but the Irish regulator has prohibited Meta from launching advertising services on WhatsApp that utilize data from Facebook or Instagram.
It is worth noting that Meta is already under scrutiny in the EU for violating EU privacy laws. Back in May, the European Data Protection Board announced that it had fined Meta a record-breaking €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) for violating EU privacy laws by transferring the personal data of Facebook users to servers in the United States.
Meanwhile, Meta’s stock is currently trading at $285.76 per share, down 0.09% in pre-market. The tech giant also closed its latest trading day down by 0.33%.
This article originally appeared on The Tokenist
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